NEWS ITEM: The Surface Transportation Board (STB) proposes to change the formula for computing the cost of the equity component of the railroad industry’s cost of capital. This is of consequence to railroads, shippers and investors because cost of capital is a determinant of railroad revenue adequacy and a threshold for a host of other regulatory limitations on rail ratemaking.
Author: Frank N. Wilner
Is presumptive Surface Transportation Board (STB) nominee Robert Primus pulling a Reese H. Taylor Jr. redux and risking his chance for nomination or Senate confirmation?
WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE: Prepare for the oldest lawfully established permanent floating craps game in America—national wage, benefits and work rules negotiations between most Class I freight railroads and their labor unions.
Two vacant seats on the five-member Surface Transportation Board (STB) could be filled by early 2020, as a Democrat—to be paired with an already nominated Republican—has emerged as a likely nominee.
By age 10, two lessons should be learned—no ketchup on hot dogs, and government does not move at the speed of for-profit business.
RAILWAY AGE, WATCHING WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 2019 – Although a purchase is said to be worth precisely what a buyer agrees to pay, not all buyers possess equivalent market power as sellers. United Parcel Service (UPS), for example, may choose between truck and rail. But where freight cannot efficiently move by truck, shippers wishing to remain in business typically pay higher freight rates than if they had effective alternatives to rail.
Imagine Surface Transportation Board (STB) members Ann D. Begeman, Patrick J. Fuchs and Martin J. Oberman dining family-style, where one entree is shared. Ann wants fish, Marty chicken, and Patrick says he wants neither and wishes to leave. Unable to agree on an order, the three depart the restaurant.
If you think a currently under way Surface Transportation Board (STB) search for outside experts to rehabilitate and modernize the 30-year-old Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS) is not of significant importance to railroads and their customers, then think again, and stay focused.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, AUGUST 2019: The Surface Transportation Board (STB) and other independent regulatory agencies operate as a fourth branch of government, exercising quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, JULY 2019: If paper smothers rock, scissors cut paper and rock smashes scissors, short line railroads, controlling neither the paper nor rock, face a grim outcome in a quest to “cut up” so-called paper barriers erected by Class I railroads and sanctioned by the Surface Transportation Board (STB).